DeSoto Football Dominates with Back-to-Back State Titles, Coach Claude Mathis Named Coach of the Year, and Former Players Shine in College Championships

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Jabbar Muhammed in University of Washington photo
Across the field was another former Eagle, Jabbar Muhammed (1), who helped the Washington Huskies reach the championship game. Photo courtesy University of Washington.

Coach Claude Mathis has had plenty to be proud of this football season. His DeSoto Eagles won a second consecutive Class 6A Division II state championship in dominant fashion, 70-14 over Houston Summer Creek and he’s been named Coach of the Year by numerous organizations.

And he has a former player who is now a national collegiate football champion. German Green and the Michigan Wolverines can stake that claim after they defeated the Washington Huskies 34-13 on Monday, Jan. 8 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

In fact, even before the game Mathis and the Eagles were guaranteed a national champion. Former Eagle Jabbar Muhammed plays for Washington. Both he and Green are defensive backs.

“We win back-to-back state and now somebody from DeSoto is gonna win a natty, it doesn’t get much better,” Mathis said before the game.

Of course, if he’d had his way, he’d love to have seen both walk away with championships, he said.

“I’m really happy for Jabbar. He’s balling big time. He’s showing everybody why he left Oklahoma State. He’s getting a chance and we see what he can do,” Mathis said. “I’m so happy for German. He’s playing well and he deserves this too.”

In the championship game, Muhammed, a junior, had two tackles and a pass breakup. He ended the season with a team-high three interceptions, along with 46 tackles (41 solo), five for a loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery . He was also named second-team All-Pacific 12 Conference.

Green, a graduate student, played mostly on special teams this season. He ended his final season with the Wolverines seeing action in the title game, playing in eight games in all and registering three tackles.

Green’s twin brother Gemon played alongside him at Michigan for five seasons and could have returned for a sixth season, but opted for a chance at a pro career. He was given a chance with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent, but was released in late August.

Michigan football players number 33 and number 22
Michigan football defeats Ohio State, 45-23, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, OH on November 26, 2022. Former DeSoto Eagle German (33), shown with his brother Gemon (who left the program in 2023 to turn pro) won a national championship as a member of the Michigan Wolverines Monday night. Photo courtesy University of Michigan

ANOTHER AREA REP IN TITLE GAME

DeSoto wasn’t the only area high school represented in the championship game. Ladarius Henderson of Waxahachie played on the offensive line for Michigan. The graduate student played in all 15 games, starting 11, including the title contest.

Henderson was named All-Big 10 Conference for this season (first team by the coaches, second team by media). He was also a two-time Offensive Player of the Week.
Henderson, a graduate student, previously played at Arizona State. He played in 33 games and started 25 in four seasons.

He has one more season eligibility should he decide to return to the Wolverines.

MURPHY ALL-BIG 12

Former DeSoto standout Byron Murphy II helped the Texas Longhorns to their best season in 15 years as they reached the College Football Playoff semifinals before falling 37-31 to Washington to finish 12-2.

They also won the Big 12 Conference championship and Murphy was honored by the league’s coaches. He was named first-team All-Big 12.

Murphy, a junior defensive lineman, posted 29 tackles. Of those, 8.5 were for a loss. He also had five sacks and seven quarterback hurries.

ALSO FROM THE AREA

The area was well-represented among the four teams to reach the College Football Playoff.

Also on rosters were:

Alabama – Zarian Courtney, wide receiver, senior, Mansfield Timberview, played one game; Kendrick Blackshire, linebacker, junior, Duncanville, played seven games, mostly on special teams, 16 tackles.

Texas – Johntay Cook II, wide receiver, freshman, DeSoto, eight catches for 136 yards and a touchdown; Malik Muhammed, defensive back, freshman, DeSoto, 31 tackles, interception; Jalen Catalon, defensive back, senior, Mansfield Legacy, 17 tackles; Savion Red, running back, sophomore, Grand Prairie, 30 carries, 131 yards, TD; Warren Roberson, defensive back, freshman, Red Oak, played one game; Quintrevion Wisner, running back, freshman, DeSoto, 12 carries, 73 yards, TD; Billy Walton III, edge, freshman, Grand Prairie, played two games; Cameron Williams, offensive lineman, sophomore, Duncanville, played nine games; Andre Cojoe, offensive lineman, freshman, Timberview, did not see game action.

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Rick Mauch is a veteran of more than four decades in the media. He began writing in high school and immediately went into broadcasting for almost a decade after graduating, working his way to morning drive in Birmingham, Alabama. However, realizing how much he missed writing (though he did continue to do some during his time in top-40 radio), Rick returned to what he loved and has been doing it ever since. Rick's career has spanned a plethora of media outlets, including community journalism, sports, entertainment, politics and more. He's worked in print, broadcast and online media. He also spent several years doing public relations for a children's home in East Texas - still writing on the side, of course. When he's not writing, Rick loves to play golf and do Bigfoot research. He's an avid believer. He also made his first hole-in-one in June of 2020. Rick is married to Junell Mauch. They have five children and three granddaughters

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